How to find makeup models

Your Makeup Career

What to Do When Your Makeup Model Doesn’t Show Up

Many makeup artists have been there, and if you haven’t experienced it yet, you will eventually! Coordinating a shoot for your portfolio or hiring a model for an event can become a stressful situation – and fast. So what do you do when your model doesn’t show up?

Instead of calling her up and leaving a nasty voicemail, follow these steps to redeem your shoot!

Step 1: Panic

Yes – it’s okay to freak out a little bit! After all, keeping yourself together can be almost impossible when you’re counting on this for your career.

If your model doesn’t show up, the first thing to do is allow yourself to let your feelings go. Step outside, go for a walk around the block, or visit the ladies room. Give yourself five minutes to be upset, then pick yourself up and get moving!

Step 2: Don’t Wait Around

If your model is running late, but has a flaky reputation, see if you can score another model on short notice. Don’t cancel your current model until you’ve confirmed with another, but if you can get a different model on the scene in a hurry then it’s time to let the other one go.

Styled shoot for makeup artist portfolios

Waiting on an unreliable model will put you in a horrible mood, and risk all of your plans! Plus, if she does show up then you’ll be more likely to say something unprofessional. Instead, call around to models you know, or simply reach out to friends and family. Any model is better than no model!

This is why it’s super important for makeup artists to have a strong network and a support system. Nurturing your relationships won’t only bring in referrals, it might end up saving you in the long run!

Step 3: Adapt Your Schedule

If your model is running late, or if you have a new model on her way, you can take a deep breath and relax. You have your model – now you just need to adapt. Moving your schedule around can be hectic, especially if you’re paying for studio time or photographers. So, see how much work you can get done without a model present, and start right away!

For example, you might be planning a Q&A session or discussion with your audience at the event – in this case, you can get creative. Pick a volunteer from the audience and do a quick makeup application on them. This will mix things up without causing a delay!

Alternatively, if your model truly isn’t showing up (and you can’t find anyone else) then you need to think on your feet. Check with the people around you – they might know someone available to volunteer.

Or, you could ask people you meet in public – but be careful, we do not recommend you go out on the street alone and approach strangers. That’s super dangerous! Instead, see if there’s a credible office building or business nearby (where you know a friend or family member!) and find a professional who’s willing to volunteer. However, this isn’t a strategy to depend on often!

Finding makeup artistry models

Step 4: Get It Done

Remember these famous words: the show must go on. Even if you have to work on yourself, you need to make the most of your opportunity. Working on your own face isn’t ideal, but it’s better than leaving empty-handed!

How to Avoid It

When you’re working with a team, like models and photographers, it’s crucial that you have a backup plan. Depending on others for an important opportunity can be stressful – you’ll save yourself a lot of worry by having a Plan B on hand.

To nix the risk of not having a model to work on, see if a friend or family member can accompany you. They can stay to show their support, fill in as a model, or just give you a ride to make sure your model is there! Again, your network and support system should be strong and reliable.

With photographers, it’s more difficult to replace their skills! What you can do is sign a written agreement stating the time, location, considerations, and compensation (if needed). This way, you’ll have a cancellation clause that protects you instead of hanging you out to dry.

You can also invest in a higher quality camera to bring to photoshoots and events. Not only can you take your own fabulous photos, you’ll have a backup camera if anything unexpected happens!

All in all, you’ll survive if your model doesn’t show up. The most important thing is for you to be there – remain reliable, professional, and remember the importance of contracts!

Ready to land more work in the industry? Find out how to find makeup artistry jobs with these tips!

Katie is a blog writer for QC Makeup Academy, where she provides advice to makeup artists and stylists. Katie's tips and career insights range from networking to creating exciting initiatives for new businesses.

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